Brexit: Seven EU – UK Trade Options

This interesting article by Jonathan Peel, who is a member of the EU Employers Group as well as a Business & Trade Consultant, addresses the complexity of any final EU – UK trade deal.

The final outcome might well be unique but there are basically seven broad options for the negotiators to pursue.

brexit-the-employers-group-newsletter-january-2017

The complexities of the trade negotiations might also drag on into 2020 and a general election, by which time if legislation is in place for ” Votes for Life“, all British expats will finally have a chance to have their say!

Posted in EU-UK Trade Deal Options, Exiting EU: Gov. White Paper vs Expats' Alternative, Expat Brits Retain Interest in UK Politics, Expats Right to Vote in 2020, Expats still want Votes for Life!, Reminding Government on "votes for Life" | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Exiting the EU: Government’s White Paper vs Expats’ Alternative White Paper

The Connexion, France’s English-Language Newspaper, reported on 2nd February, 2017 that: 

“In a ‘White Paper’ on The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union, the government says: “We want to secure the status of EU citizens who are already living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in other member states, as early as we can”. “

A copy of the government’s “White Paper” referred to in the above Connexion article can be found here:

The_united_kingdoms_exit_from_and_partnership_with_the_eu_web

In the same issue The Connexion reports on a corresponding counter reaction as:

“Expat campaigners launched an ‘Alternative White Paper’, highlighting the situation of Britons in the EU and asking that strong reassurances be made before article 50 is triggered.”

A copy of this “Alternative White Paper” can be found here:

alternative-white-paper-presented-by-uk-citizens-in-europe

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British Expats still want “Votes for Life”!

Continuing to remind the British government not to forget the planned “Votes for Life” legislation, despite the pressures of Brexit , here’s a detailed contribution from Susan Kubitz.

Susan is a long-term British expat working with her family in Germany who was shocked not to be allowed to vote in the EU Referendum, and begs the question of  “without my vote, where is my identity as this sort of constructive British European?”

Susan Kubitz writes on

“Before my (German) husband’s hopes of starting up his own electroplating business took us to central Germany (ex-GDR) in the 90’s we lived in Birmingham. We had been able to bring up our children together in Britain because of a successful human rights campaign in 1974. We were euphoric when the Wall came down and felt that German reunification was to a certain extent an expression of the efforts also made by the EU to live together in peace after all the horrors of WW ll. Like other people commenting here we felt we could simply take our two separate nationalities for granted because in any case we both belonged to the EU. My German friends ask me now if I want to become German – but I’ve always believed in reforming things from within. Until very recently I was proud to be British: have been a frequent returner to the UK, am still active as teacher of British English and translator, and like other people on this site I care about Britain. Thank you to the people who have got this site together.”

“It was a shock to find that I was not allowed to vote in the referendum. Had taught an “All about Britain” course at our local University of Technology as part of the Europastudium offered to students as an extra qualification for many years (1996 – 2010), always saying “It’s not a tidy picture but somehow we manage to steer a diplomatic path through all the complex historical relationships without disruption:
– England-Wales-Scotland-Northern Ireland
– Britain-earlier colonies (i.e. USA)
– Britain-ex-Victorian Empire (i.e. Commonwealth in Foreign Affairs and, within Britain,  greater progress on living together multi-culturally than I saw in Germany)
– Britain- EU”.”

“To put my emphatic approval for things like the Erasmus scheme into practice, I have had numerous students from the UK (one was Polish, had lived in the UK since his early teens) here on placement with me or with other local companies. It is not only my own lost vote that grieves me but the loss and destruction of opportunities like this for young people to make friendships within a European Union that has been a channel for co-operative energies.”

“And without my vote, where is my identity as this sort of constructive British European?”

 

Posted in Expat Brits Retain Interest in UK Politics, Expats Right to Vote in 2020, Expats still want Votes for Life!, Gov Commitment on Vote for Life, Reminding Government on "votes for Life" | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Reminding the British government not to forget the “Votes for Life” legislation!

Reminding the British government not to forget the planned “Votes for Life” legislation, despite the pressures of Brexit, here are the latest comments on our sign-up poll from British expats on why they deserve the right to vote:

Richard Bower – 2 weeks ago

“I have lived and worked in France for 38 years, with a French wife and 3 bi-national, bi-cultural and bi-lingual children, of whom I am extremely proud. I have always felt that we were part of an open-minded, tolerant and progressive society, Europe, which allowed me to retain my culturally British identity whilst blending in to my French home. Stupidly I ignored the fact that being disenfranchised 23 years ago effectively put an end to my Britishness in terms of rights. Being European, it didn’t seem to matter. Brexit shows that it did. Belatedly, I now support the movement for votes for expat Brits. I wish I had done so many years ago.”

Jill Conway-Fell – 3 weeks ago

“I have lived and worked in Denmark since I was young, when I was employed at the British Embassy in Copenhagen, after which I was employed by The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.
It has been a source of irritation and anger that I lost my right to vote in the UK, in spite of the fact that I am a first-generation UK citizen, especially in view of the fact that citizens of numerous other EU Member States retain a lifetime vote in their countries of origin.
It is about time that we are granted a vote for life, putting us on an equal footing with others.
Brexit makes it even more imperative that our vote in the UK be restored.
As others have commented, a considerable number of retirees would vote Conservative, so please ensure that immediate action is taken.”

Del – 1 month ago

“Where’s our vote? As a passport holding UK expat whose life will be just as affected as anyone living in the UK then surely I and a couple of million others like me should have been eligible to vote! They omitted a couple of million very interested parties that almost certainly would have stopped this joke of a so called referendum in it’s tracks.

So, where is our vote?”

 

Posted in Expat Brits Retain Interest in UK Politics, Expats Right to Vote in 2020, Gov Commitment on Vote for Life, Reminding Government on "votes for Life" | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expat Brits retain interest in UK Politics.

Despite its problems with Brexit, let’s hope the British government presses on with the “Votes for Life” bill to remove the 15-year-limit which deprives British citizens living overseas of their right to vote.

Giorgio Greening who was 16 when she left the UK has never voted in her country of birth but remains keenly interested in UK politics:

“I have lived in Germany since 1975 and have never voted in my life. I am not German, so I can not vote in German elections and I was 16 when I left the UK so I have never voted in the UK. I am keenly interested in UK politics and it is inexplicable that I can not not participate in the democratic process.”

Posted in +5 million British Expats Abroad, Expat Brits Retain Interest in UK Politics, Expats Right to Vote in 2020, LibDems Support Votes for All British Expats, Queens Speech: Expat Votes for Life | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Brexit: Reciprocal Rights for EU-Resident Expat Brits and UK-Resident EU Citizens.

  • The current response from the European Commission does not foresee any negotiation of reciprocal agreements protecting the rights of EU citizens already legally resident within the UK, and those for expat Brits similarly living and working within other EU member states, prior to the triggering of Article 50 which will initiate the process of Britain leaving the EU.
  • In advance of such uncertainty, therefore, some expat Brits e.g. such as Betty Chatterjee below, are already taking the opportunity to apply for joint citizenship where they are currently EU resident.
  •  MPs should also take due note concerning the seriousness of the potential expat vote, when the British government’s  “Votes for Life” bill comes for debate before them, when she adds:
    “In the meantime my interest in British politics has been sharpened. I have joined the Lib Dems and given the chance, would most certainly vote in British elections.”
  • Betty Chatterjee in the latest comment on our Sign-up poll says:

    “I have lived in Denmark since 1972. Until the law was changed last year making it possible to have joint citizenship, it did not occur to me to apply for Danish citizenship. I was happy with my status as an expat Brit in Denmark. After all Britain and Denmark are both member states of the EU and I have a very strong sense of European identity.”

    “Just after Brexit I send in my application for Danish citizenship and I hope it is granted before Britain finally leaves the EU.”

    “In the meantime my interest in British politics has been sharpened. I have joined the Lib Dems and given the chance, would most certainly vote in British elections.”

Posted in 15-Year-Limit After EU Referendum, 15-year-rule badly affects expat Brits., Brexit: Reciprocal Rights for UK & EU Citizens, Expat Brit deprived of his EU Ref. Vote | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

15-Year-Rule badly affects Expat Brits, particularly those impacted by EU Referendum Result.

Let’s hope that the British government is not so diverted by Brexit that its planned  “Votes for Life” bill, which will remove the 15-year-limit on our voting rights, fails to become law within the 5-year term of the current parliament which ends in 2020.

As Richard Scivier comments below, “the 15-year time limit rule  we have in the UK has badly affected those working overseas and in the EU – these people are most affected by the results of the EU referendum.”

Richard Scivier  comments on our Sign-Up poll:

I am now retired and living in the UK, having returned to the UK in 2008. I am however in contact with former colleagues in the countries where I have worked as an English teacher (France, Spain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia). Some who are married to overseas spouses are seriously considering taking up citizenship of their spouses and children.

The 15-year time limit rule we have in the UK has badly affected those working overseas and in the EU – these people are most affected by the results of the EU referendum. The present government says it is considering removing the time limit rule, but that is too late for the last referendum and the results unless there is a second EU referendum.

Countries like Spain and France do not have the time limit rule for their citizens and can vote wherever they are living. Indeed France has a deputy for all French citizens living in Northern Europe, which means mostly the UK!

Posted in 15-year-rule badly affects expat Brits., Brexit Problem for Ex-Serviceman, Expat Brit deprived of his EU Ref. Vote, Expat Brits Forced Home?, Voting Rights | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments